It really does seem as though Danny Rand is replacing Daredevil in Iron Fist season 2. There's a sense in which The Defenders was essentially the passing of the torch; Matt Murdock chooses to sacrifice himself, believing his mission to protect New York is coming to an end. "Protect my city," he charges Danny Rand, commissioning him to be a new street-level vigilante who fights on the front lines in the war against organized crime.
Ironically, there's a strong comic book precedent for this idea. Over in the comics, Ed Brubaker launched an arc in which Iron Fist actually suited up as Daredevil for a while. He initially did this because Matt Murdock's secret identity was in danger of becoming public knowledge. By posing as Daredevil, he allowed the public to believe Matt Murdock and Daredevil were being seen in different places at the same time. Later, when Matt had to leave the country for a while, he requested that Iron Fist step in as Daredevil to police Hell's Kitchen.
But Iron Fist season 2 looks set to take this idea further than the comics ever did. With Daredevil believed dead, this show is positioning Danny Rand as New York's greatest protector.
- This Page: Iron Fist Has Taken Over Daredevil's Role & Villains
- Page 2: Is Iron Fist "Replacing" Daredevil Part Of A Bigger Story?
Danny Rand is the Defender of New York
"This is my city now," Danny declares in the trailer. "It's my duty to protect it. And I'm not backing down." In the first season, Danny constantly stressed that he is the Immortal Iron Fist, sworn protector of K'un Lun. At the end of the season, he learned that he had failed to accomplish this; the Hand had launched an attack upon the city, which had vanished from our reality. Iron Fist was subsequently one of the key players in the (final?) battle against the Hand, with the Hand's leadership killed after they attempted to tap into the power of the dragon bones beneath New York. But K'un Lun was still gone, and there was no way Danny could return to it.
Danny was given a new mission, though, one that perfectly supplants his old one. Matt Murdock's last wish was for Danny to essentially replace him as the street-level defender of New York, the man who wages war on the criminals of the city. Iron Fist's cameo in Luke Cage season 2 suggested he's taken that seriously, with Danny tossing out a comment about how he views the city as divided between its three protectors; himself, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones. While Luke was willing to sign up to protect Harlem, it seems unlikely Jessica was particularly enthusiastic about the arrangement; certainly there was no sign of her sticking to it in Jessica Jones season 2. Iron Fist, for his part, presumably splits his time between policing Hell's Kitchen and Chinatown; at SDCC, Marvel confirmed that the bulk of season 2 will be set in the latter part of the city.
Iron Fist season 2 clips shown at SDCC have teased that Iron Fist will don a mask for some of his vigilante work; one scene showed him wearing a hoodie to obscure his hair, with a mask pulled up over the bottom half of his face. Further, Finn Jones has indicated his character may adopt his trademark costume by the end of season 2 - including the half-mask covering his hair and the upper half of his face. It seems that, little by little, Iron Fist is transforming into the same kind of masked vigilante as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.
Iron Fist Season 2 Has a Daredevil Villain
Given Iron Fist is essentially stepping into Matt Murdock's shoes for season 2, it's appropriate that season 2 will see him go head-to-head with a classic Daredevil villain. Alice Eve is playing Typhoid Mary, a character who was created by Ann Nocenti and John Romita, Jr., as a Daredevil foe. Mary was a prostitute whose brothel was catering to a client targeted by Daredevil. When the Man Without Fear broke into the brothel to confront him, the girls attacked him. Panicked, Daredevil lashed out, and Mary was knocked through a window. Somehow this triggered Mary's latent mutant powers, and she swore that no man would ever attack her again.
Typhoid Mary became one of Daredevil's most fascinating opponents. She suffers from dissociative identity disorder, with each of her distinct personalities tapping into a different powerset. Her "Mary" identity is a timid pacifist; her "Typhoid" personality is adventurous, lustful, and violent; but her "Bloody Mary" identity is the most dangerous, a sadistic killer with a deep misandry. Mary has referenced a fourth personality, one that has been mysteriously "lost," and has never been seen in the comics. Typhoid Mary is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, with mutant powers including low-level telekinesis and the ability to set people on fire at will.
Because of her multiple personalities, Typhoid Mary became both an ally and an enemy to the Man Without Fear. In fact, she even became Daredevil's lover for a time. She's actually one of the Kingpin's favorite agents, a skilled assassin who he finds very competent indeed. Curiously, Typhoid Mary has absolutely no comic book history with Iron Fist at all. So the decision to use a prominent Daredevil villain in Iron Fist season 2 is a fascinating one, pointing once again to the fact that Danny Rand has supplanted Matt Murdock's role in the Marvel Netflix shows.